Thinking About French Doors?
French doors are a timeless look that can really bring two spaces together. Whether interior or exterior, this design element is an elegant way to create some privacy but maintain a visual connection between spaces in your home.
French doors can be used as both entry patio doors and as interior doors that separate two different rooms or spaces. If you have a patio, French doors will likely open on to a deck or a backyard patio space. You could potentially use them with a screen door system but most people like to enjoy the elegance of french doors without clouding their vantage points.
Interior French doors are often found in the entryway between a dining room and kitchen or living room, the doors allow light to flow between the spaces. Curtains and blinds are sometimes installed, just as with an exterior window, to provide more privacy, but again as in the example above, most people enjoy the open space that the French doors bring between two rooms. Covering them with curtains and ornamental designs can begin to distract from the idea of installing them.
French door styles
Like all aspects of your home remodel, choosing the best materials for your project also impacts the overall style. You can work with your contractor, home remodeler or interior designer to select the best french door options for your project. In our modern age, there are companies that design primarily fiberglass doors that are available in a faux wood finish that mimics the look of real wood. These can help with durability and longevity. There are still other brands that offer premium, solid wood doors. Doors can also include glass inserts that replicate older design styles, but have energy efficient inserts that keep out harmful UV rays.
To increase the durability on exterior doors, manufacturers add exterior cladding, which adds a metal or fiberglass skin to the exterior door to prevent it from deteriorating over time. Many times, when doing a remodel of home that has existing French doors, we find that they need to be replaced due to rot and a century of weather and moisture damage. Not only will your home have energy efficiency in new French door design, but it will also be healthier for your family.
French doors can be incorporated into any style of home remodel - from Colonial to Craftsman to traditional and especially modern twists in-between.
Installing French Doors
The most important part of installing a French door is measuring the total area of the door swing path. You want to think about the furnishings that may be planned for the area within the door’s reach. The next thing to check is the jamb depth of the opening. You’ll need to plan to purchase a door that will fit inside that depth. If you have a newer home, you will probably have an easy fit with a standard-sized French door. Older homes have non-standard sized openings, so you may need to install a new jamb inside the opening to fit the French doors of your choice or hire a contractor to renovate the space for you.
If you are planning to install French patio doors to replace sliding doors for deck or patio access, you will need to purchase entry French doors. Some French patio doors can be purchased with inactive doors, meaning there are door panels that match the look of the doors that open, but these inactive door panels do not open and close. Offered typically in wood, steel or aluminum, they should be maintained and painted just as often as your windows.
In the scenario of patio French doors, you’ll also want to think about security. Not all French doors are made for security. Work with your contractor or home remodeler to choose doors that not only, offer energy efficiency that fit your homes design style, but also that offer strength and security for unwanted entry.